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General News

Chicago’s Greektown Celebrates the Holidays with “Karavakia” Display (Photos)

CHICAGO  – Paying tribute to Greece’s holiday tradition of decorating small boats – ‘karavákia’ – with paint, lights and other materials, the Greektown Arts Committee invited over 30 local artists to contribute to a display spread around Greektown businesses throughout the holiday season.

Greektown also showcased a larger karaváki, painted by distinguished artist James Mesple, near the monument at Elysian Field (southeast corner of Halsted and Van Buren Streets), where Greektown’s holiday tree is displayed annually.

A vibrant project that supports the arts and further shares Hellenic culture with visitors, the karavakia display is not the first for Greektown. A tradition that began a few years ago, past displays have included hand-painted sun, fish, lighthouse and Olympic discus sculptures, which are still on display around Greektown.

Holiday karavákia (little boats) on display at Spectrum Bar and Grill. (Photo: Courtesy of Greektown Chicago)

“For me personally growing up with Greektown, it’s tremendously gratifying to see art I created on the streets and in establishments. As for the greater benefit, it brightens up the daily pedestrian commute and lightens spirits, especially in these trying times,” contributing artist Terry Poulos said.

“Many of the sculptures have an educational narrative as well. Mine center on science and have a particular focus on ancient technology including the Antikythera Mechanism and Greek mathematics, including Plato’s forms, Archimedean geometry, and modern fractal images,” he said.

Chicago’s historical Greektown is a dining, nightlife, and cultural district located on the Near West Side of Chicago. A popular destination for tourists and the city’s residents alike, Greektown offers a sampling of Hellenic heritage outside of Greece – from authentic restaurants, cafes and shops, to the National Hellenic Museum and annual Taste of Greektown festival.

Holiday karavákia (little boats) on display at 9 Muses Bar and Grill. (Photo: Courtesy of Greektown Chicago)

 

A holiday karaváki (little boat) on display at Artopolis Bakery and Cafe. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Greektown Chicago’s 2021 tree. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display. Artwork by James Mesple at Elysian Field. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display. Artwork by James Mesple at Elysian Field. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display. Artwork by Patricia Owsiany at Greek Islands Restaurant. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display._Artwork by Fernando Ramirez at Greek Islands Restaurant. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display. Artwork by Tyrue ‘Slang’ Jones at Athenian Candle Company. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display._Artwork by Victoria Martin at Chicago Parthenon Hostel. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display._Artwork by Ken Hirte at Athena Restaurant. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display. Artwork by David Holt at Mythical Smokes (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

Karavakia display. Artwork by Alexandra Damato at Greek Islands Restaurant. (Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

(Photo: Courtesy of Diane Alexander White)

 

 

On display from December to January, Greektown’s Holiday Karavákia Display participating artists & locations included:

Arkadia Tower Apartments

Artist: Chuck Walker

111 S. Halsted St.

Artopolis Bakery, Cafe and Agora

Artists: Vicky Tesmer, Andy Morreale, & Jennifer Cronin

306 S. Halsted St.

Athena Restaurant

Artists: Ken Hirte, Dustin Harris & Terry Poulos

212 S. Halsted St.

Athenian Candle Co.

Artists: James Mesple, Malika Jackson, Rebecca Zaragoza, & Tyrue ‘Slang’ Jones

300 S. Halsted St.

Chicago Parthenon Hostel

Artists: Connie Hinkle & Victoria Martin

310-312 S. Halsted St.

CHI Smokes

Artist: Leo Talaganis

309 S. Halsted St.

Dugan’s on Halsted

Artist: Marcelo Elli

128 S. Halsted St.

Greek Islands Restaurant

Artists: Fernando Ramirez, Diane Thodos, Patricia Owsiany, Panos Fiorentios & Alexandra Damato

200 S. Halsted

Mythical Smokes

Artist: David Holt

235 S. Halsted St.

Nine Muses Bar & Grill

Artists: Kiki Whitehead & Kathleen King

315 S. Halsted St.

Rye Deli + Drink

Artist: Chris Loutris

25 S. Halsted St.

Sonder Greektown Suites

Artist: Michael Thompson & Sheri Smith

314 S. Halsted St.

Spectrum Bar & Grill

Artists: Michael Thompson, Vasiliki Valkanas, Louis DeMarco & Mariana Karampelas

233 S. Halsted St.

Starbucks

Artist: Ms. Alex White

116 S. Halsted St.

The Van Buren Apartments

Artists: Dino & Mark Crisanti

808 W. Van Buren St.

Walgreens

Artist: Tracey Ostmann

111 S. Halsted St.

Wild Fork Foods

Artist: Eve Moran

100 S. Halsted St.

 

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